Helmer Osheim, 100

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 2, 2010

Helmer Osheim, age 100, of Lake Mills, formerly of Kiester, died Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009, at the Lake Mills Care Center in Lake Mills, Iowa.
Funeral services were held on Saturday at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Kiester with the Rev. Richard Steffen officiating. Burial took place at Our Savior’s Lutheran Cemetery, Kiester.
Visitation was on Friday at Mittelstadt Funeral Home, Lake Mills, and continued one hour prior to services at the church on Saturday.
Helmer Osheim was born on Dec. 15, 1909, to Hans and Annie (Quam) Osheim. He was the seventh of 14 children. Helmer was baptized and confirmed at West Prairie Church, rural Thompson, Iowa. He attended school at the Dybendahl country school south of Thompson.
Helmer married Maurine Clara Hesby on June 16, 1935, at Scarville, Iowa. The Rev. S.J. Fretheim performed the ceremony.
After finishing school, he worked with area farmers and did carpentry work. Answering the call of adventure, Helmer and a friend traveled west on unpaved roads, working their way through Montana and North Dakota. They worked by day and spent numerous nights in their Model T before returning to Iowa. He shared many of these stories with a granddaughter after learning that she and her husband were moving to Montana. He must have been impressed with Great Falls, Mont. during his travels. Grandpa would repeatedly ask Melissa if she had visited Great Falls yet. When she told him about her train ride home from Montana, he immediately asked her if the train stopped in Why-not Minot, N.D. She was amazed to hear her grandfather ask that question, because Why-not Minot was a much-repeated comment heard during her train ride.
Helmer and his brother, Gunnar, farmed together for several years north of Thompson. Following his marriage, Helmer and Maurine moved to farm south of Mansfield, locally referred to as the “hotel.” In March of 1943, they purchased their farm two miles east of Kiester where they lived for 55 years. He raised cattle, hogs, chickens and traditional crops. They moved to Lake Mills in Sept. 1998.
Helmer and Melvin Larson built and operated the roller-skating rink in Kiester. They operated the roller-skating rink for many years offering an entertaining meeting place for many area youth. Numerous couples tell of meeting at the roller skating rink and spending many of their dates at the rink. Helmer also built small suitcases for purchase and sold men’s suits to supplement his farm income. The suit fabric samples were later sewn together for a quilt, which still exists today.
When area congregations agreed to merge and form Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Kiester, Helmer was one of many that worked tirelessly to build the church, stone by stone. He told of countless wheelbarrows of mortar wheeled up and down planks to cement the stones together. When the time came for shingling of the roof, there were many too hesitant to climb that high and work on the steep pitch of the church. Helmer and Rev. I. Z. Hyland shrugged and said, “That’s not so bad” and shingled the roof.
Helmer was preceded in death by his wife, Maurine, in 2005, daughter, Marcia, in 2008 and 12 siblings.
He is survived by his children Roger (Sandi) Osheim, Emmons, Gloria (Doug) Fallgatter, Northwood, Iowa and Phil (Tamera) Osheim of Mahtomedi; son-in-law, Jerry Bergeson, Radcliffe, Iowa; ten grandchildren Todd (Susan) Bergeson, Alpharetta, Ga., Tim (Sherry) Bergeson, Los Gatos, Calif., Tony Osheim, San Clemente, Calif., Cindy (Joe) Galli, Glyndon, Md., Angie (Justin) Senne, Northwood, Iowa, Melissa (Mike) Michaelis, Somers, Mont., Holly (Greg) Hankins, North Liberty, Iowa, Jenna (Josh) Cadwell, Richland, Wash., Trisha Osheim and fiancé Travis Burnett, Eau Claire, Wis., and Christa (Ryan) Cadwell, Pasco, Wash.; eight great-grandchildren, one brother, Vernon (Lorraine) of Thompson, Iowa, one sister-in-law, Bernice Kloster, of Buffalo Center, Iowa; and numerous nieces and nephews.
You can contact the family with condolences at: www.mittelstadtfuneralhome.com.

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